Arioto Fans 16, Cal Defeats George Washington, 5-1
Feb. 14, 2009
Chapel Hill, N.C. - The ninth-ranked Cal softball team rebounded from its early afternoon loss to No. 23 North Carolina with a 5-1 win over George Washington in the nightcap in the second day of the Carolina Classic on Saturday. Valerie Arioto fanned a career-high 16 GWU batters in the process - tied for the third-most in a game in school history.
Cal (6-1) concludes the tournament against Penn State on Sunday at 7:00 a.m. PT.
Just as they have all season, the Bears were able to jump on the opposition early - Cal has outscored its opponents, 15-0 in the first inning this season - with three runs in the first frame. With one out, Shannon Houston singled to left field, followed by another single by Jamia Reid. With the double steal called, Houston was able to score after a throwing error by the GWU catcher (Reid ended up at third). Reid then scored after Gina Leomiti placed down a bunt. Vernae Sevilla then drew a walk and quickly stole second - her first steal of the year - and scored after Sanoe Kekahuna singled up the middle.
Valerie Arioto, who earned the start in the circle for the Bears was efficient after Cal built the 3-0 lead. In fact she didn't give up a hit until the fifth inning after giving up a single in the first.
Cal added to its lead in the fifth when Jamia Reid singled with two outs to plate her twin sister Elia, who led off the inning with a single and recorded a stolen base (her 11th of the season). With the inning still alive and Jamia Reid stealing both second and third base (she is a perfect 8-for-8 in stolen bases this season), Leomiti came through again with a single to left field to plate Jamia Reid to give the Bears a 5-1 lead.
Arioto protected the lead and in the seventh after allowing a single to the leadoff batter, retired the next three in a row she faced to end the game.
Arioto was stellar in the circle, recording 16 strikeouts - the most since her teammate Marissa Drewrey had 16 against Nevada last season. She scattered four hits as well for the win.
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